HP faces French consumer fury over OS

Hewlett-Packard is facing legal action from a French consumer group for bundling the Windows operating system with its PCs.

Hewlett-Packard is facing legal action from a French consumer group for bundling the Windows operating system with its PCs.

The Union Fédérale des Consommateurs-Que Choisir (UFC) consumer group has sued HP and two French retailers, claiming consumers frequently lack the option of buying computers without software.

UFC wants consumers to be able to choose their own software for their machines, and to be reimbursed for purchasing an OS they did not want.

UFC also claims the packaging of both hardware and software together on a PC violates a French law that prohibits linking the functionality of one product to another product.

HP has rejected the lawsuit, saying the bundled OS is essential for any PC to work.

Civil lawsuits brought by individuals in France over the same matter have previously been rejected by the courts.

Some PC manufacturers have started to issue software refunds to customers who refuse the Windows license which comes with bundled Windows software on new PCs.

This small number of users often want to run Linux instead.

Comment on this article: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk

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